“Alternate Nostril Breath”

Brought to you by CHYP’s Parenting Blog

October 18th, 2021

By: Eileen Yager, MD

This short video with Dr. Eileen Yager shows how you can practice Alternative Nostril Breath for Balance and Relaxation:

Put your right thumb on your right nostril, your right fourth finger on your left nostril, and your right second and third fingers on the forehead just above the bridge of the nose.

Gently close the right nostril and breathe in through the left nostril to the count of 4. Hold breath for count of 4.

Then close the left nostril, open the right nostril, and breathe out through the right to count of 4. Then keeping the left nostril closed, breathe in through right to count of 4. Hold breath for count of 4. Then close the right nostril, open the left, and breathe out the left nostril to count of 4.

Then open both nostrils, breathe in through both to count of 4. Hold for count of 4. Then breathe out through both to count of 4.

So the pattern is: in for 4, hold for 4, out for 4, and you are alternating nostrils. If 4 is too long a count, use in for 3, hold for 3, out for 3. Repeat the breath practice 3 times, then sit quietly for a minute before getting up.

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I am Dr. Eileen Yager, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. I run the Integrative Pain Management Clinic at Children’s Hospital Colorado for kids mostly with chronic pain. In 1990 I was on the founding faculty of the UCLA Pediatric Pain Center, and Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer was my boss then!